North American Utilities Company Mitigates Regulatory Network Compliance Fines with Itential Automation & Orchestration


Energy & Utilities

  • Enforce & Maintain Regulatory Compliance
  • Modernize Field Area Network
  • Increase Network Engineer Productivity & Efficiency
  • Configuration & Compliance Management
  • Device Onboarding
Logo 1

Key Results

Automated configuration updates and backups across 12,000+ devices.

Integrated with sources of truth to avoid manual updates and human error.

Reduced both cost and time to complete deployments by over 30%.

Automated remediation in minutes, mitigating config drift.

Expanded automation to low-code and no-code network engineers.

Inefficient Network Change Processes Brings Looming Regulatory Fines

With a Field Area Network refresh project ahead, this North American utility company realized their manual change processes wouldn’t cut it as they needed to avoid a multitude of network-related NERC-CIP regulatory compliance requirements and fines that can total over $1M per day. They needed a way to better manage their network inventory as well as standardize, track, and maintain configurations across over 12,000 devices. This included a large list of tasks across their full lifecycle refresh of their network, such as decommissioning legacy routers, switches, and firewalls, as well as provisioning and configuring new replacements.

One of the biggest challenges they faced in this process was manually updating multiple sources of truth where they stored inventory data. This meant that both network and IT team members were swivel-chairing between different systems for every device that was onboarded and configured, delaying network changes and creating more opportunity for human error, affecting data integrity.

We eventually found ourselves unable to maintain accuracy with many different sources of truth to manually go and update. Any automation solution we adopted had to also solve for this problem.

Network Engineer

Why They Chose Itential for Automating & Orchestrating Field Area Network Refresh

This utilities company needed a way to manage the full lifecycle of their Field Area Network refresh while also keeping the lights on everywhere else in the network. This meant they needed to increase their existing team’s capacity without adding headcount or increasing working hours/PTO allotment, etc.

With Itential’s robust integration and automation capabilities, they were able to quickly integrate their current and future disparate systems together, orchestrate and update sources of truth such as Infoblox, and automate activities they had previously had to coordinate manually. With Itential, they were able to implement streamlined orchestrated workflows for their network through our:

  • Flexible and reusable Golden Configuration Templates for easily managing any device and service across their entire network, ensuring they never risk another regulatory fine.
  • Single application to efficiently manage device backups, inventory, and config changes to CLI-based physical devices along with API-based cloud networking services across any vendor and any OS.
  • Automated remediation of all their devices that are out of compliance in minutes, not hours or days, mitigating config drift.
  • No-code integration with any source of truth such as IPAM, CMBD. etc. to provide accurate data for network automations to reduce errors and optimize efficiency.
  • Low-code workflow builder for coordinating multiple automated steps to deliver a full end-to-end process as an orchestrated outcome.
  • Expanded automation participation across the organization by enabling non-developers to build network automations.

Historically, network-related compliance requirements were difficult to manage across our large disparate network because we didn’t have a good way of backing up, auditing, and maintaining configurations. Itential’s automation capabilities give our team the guardrails we need to sleep better at night as well as the ability to do more than we ever anticipated.

Sr. Director, IT Engineering

Improved Cost/Speed of Deployment by 30%+

With automated lifecycle management – from the moment a device is onboarded, each device is now configured to the intended standard and never out of compliance. And because updates to sources of truth are incorporated into orchestrated workflows, sources of truth never fall out of accuracy due to human error, and “rogue” changes without updates to sources of truth are no longer performed.

This new approach, leveraging automation and orchestration and integrating across their entire network environment, has created a more efficient operational process and increased team productivity without requiring an increase to headcount.

This utilities company is now on track for a 30%+ cost and speed improvement for projects related to their field area network refresh compared to their original estimates based on previously manual processes. They are now more confident than ever that their network will no longer be the cause of regulatory non-compliance, even as they continue to scale.

Learn Why Infrastructure Teams Choose Itential

Dive Deeper with Itential Content

Know Your Network. Automate Your Network.

Get Started with Itential Today.